Art is a fascinating subject of study for mankind. It is interesting to note how art, especially painting has gone through many stages in its evolution.
Here in this essay, I would like to trace the trajectory of art and it has progressed through realism, romanticism impressionism, expressionism, surrealism, cubism and pop art.
Now, what is realism in art? Realism in art is the systematic representation of what is literally real. Art occurs in a mimetic mode of expression. Some famous works are the Mona Lisa by Da-vin-chi, the statue of David by Michelangelo and many more. What is unique about the charm of Mona Lisa is her mystical and enigmatic smile. The smile of Mona Lisa occupies an important heritage in the History of Art. The smile of Mona Lisa remains embedded in the soul as a transfiguring work of art. It makes the art historians speechless. What can be garnered from the statue of David Michelangelo? David can be understood as a humanism of aesthetic sculpture. It could also occupy a place in gay literature.
Now what is Romanticism in art? The poet laureate William Wordsworth traces the philosophy of romanticism as the spontaneous overflow of feelings. A romantic image is an ideal one. Romanticism traces the imagery of an aesthetic object and expresses itself as an epitome of passion. A famous romantic work of art is Liberty Leading the people by Eugene Delacroix. This painting capitulates and becomes a historical subject of the French Revolution. Another famous work of Romanticism is Saturn devouring his son by Goya. It has an imagery of a metaphysical nature and shows the conception of time, an aura of time being in the experiential context. Another work of romanticism is Goya’s nude Maja. This panting captures a frenzy of emotion and bequeaths to the soul, an amorous adventure of beauty.
Now what is impressionism in art? Impressionism captures the visual imagery in soaking impressions. Famous exponents of impressionism include Van Gogh, Monet and Gauguin. Now let’s look at Van Gogh’s painting the sower. In the sower, a farmer is planting seeds in the field. The colours of this work bright yellow and brilliant blue. Nature is captured in the kaleidoscope of a delirious art. The canvas becomes a mystical, magical, copulation of an adventure that is metaphysical and spiritual. Another one of Van Gogh’s work is the sunflower and in it he epitomizes the beauty of nature into a fetish of artistic poetry. Another impressionistic painter is Gauguin. A famous work of his is, the spirit of the dead watching a nude girl. In it there is an aura of a ghostly halo of figure replete with the transcendent imagery of tender lyricism. Another famous painter of this genre is Monet and he is famous for bequeathing the sun set. The imagery of the sun captured on to the canvas is a lyricism of invitation for a tender solitude.
Now what is expressionism in the philosophy of art? Expressionism is the explosion of a powerful imagery of emotion. A classic example is Munch’s work, the Scream. The scream is a volatile expression of a human in angst. The scream is deigned to be work of art which encapsulates the existentialist philosophy of angst. The scream acts as a plague on the soul. Another work of expressionism is the sculpture of Rodin called the thinker. In the thinker, a man is portrayed deep in thought with his hands resting on his thighs. Rodin’s Thinker is a fetish of a narcissistic superego projecting the intellect. The thinker is a Nietzsche rendering the metaphysics of transcendence into nullification.
Now what is Surrealism? Surrealism is an art form that seeks to uncover the unconscious and the depiction of imagery of the fantastic with reality. Famous exponents of surrealism are Dali and Delvaux. A famous surreal work of Dali is the persistence of memory. In it we find melting clocks on trees and also a frozen embryo. Is the persistence of memory a fetish of an oedipal arrest into the memory of a child? The Persistence of Memory can also be visualized as an image made by an artist trying to understand the conceptions of space and time. Let’s look at Delvaux work: the call of the night. In it there is a barren vegetation and one old and two young women with covered hoods. The older woman is holding a lamp and is outside a cave like structure. Is this panting an initiation into the rites of fertility and sexuality? Is the hood a revealer of the unconscious? Is the bareness of the landscape a sign of coming to terms with menopause? The call of the night is fantastic in its imagery and whispers to us to be edified with its artistic imagery.
Now what is Cubism? The famous originator of Cubism is the notorious Picasso. I would like to explain his two famous works and they are the Guernica and the Whores of Avignon. The Guernica is reminiscent of the bombing of Basque town. In the Guernica, human and animal glyphs are made into a piracy of grotesque proportions. Is Picasso a perverse artist of fetish implants? Is it a magnificent projection of the Freudian ID? Does it arouse the imagery of horror? In it fact and fiction merge into an astounding realism. The next painting that I would like to talk about is Picasso’s Whores of Avignon. In it prostitutes are standing and also sitting. Their breasts and hips are exaggerated into hyperbolic, aesthetic artefacts. The mood of the painting is revelation of the sensuous and the amorous. Is Picasso using the feminine sacred and violating the body of the sacred feminine to deify the self-inflicted lust of being. The painting resembles the Mother Goddess with its robust sensuality and Epicurean carnality.
Now what is Pop Art? Pop art traces the establishment of the trivial and daily life artefacts into the art of the natural mysticism. Pop art is the coming to terms with a reality that is postmodern. Pop art is the pulp art of fiction. Everyday objects are fictionalized into a reality that is aesthetic.
To sum up, I would like to say: art has undergone a revolution from naturalism to many forms like romanticism, impressionism, surrealism, expressionism and pop art. Art is the imagery of the intellect to deflect and realize the symbiosis of encountering meaning. Art has proceeded from the real to the abstract.